On Shelf
On Shelf

#OnShelf: Give me the good news

by Louise Burgers. Mandela Month has at least given brands the opportunity to tell us about all the good things they are doing.

by Louise Burgers. I think brand managers are as bored as the rest of us at one hundred and eleventy and a million days of lockdown. Clearly most new product launches and pack updates are on hold until they know consumers will actually be spending again. Mandela Month has at least given brands the opportunity to tell us about all the good things brands are doing – and also because everyone got the same memo about how consumers will only support purpose-driven brands that try save our drastically-altered, dystopian world, or nightmare, as I call it on my groundhog days.

67 fresh produce hampers

South Africa’s fresh produce markets have played a key role in national food security during lockdown, allowing farmers and buyers to keep doing business within tight restrictions; ensuring all South Africans have had access to essential fresh fruit and vegetables throughout. RSA Group, South Africa’s fresh produce sales organisation, donated 67 hampers of fresh produce to the Salvation Army to distribute amongst its needy community, in commemoration of Mandela Day. Johan Koen, RSA group chief financial officer, said the donation was a way to support the impactful work that the Salvation Army does; while also acknowledging how important Madiba’s legacy is, “as we continue to face the challenges of 2020”.

South Africans have had access to fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the COVID-19 pandemic because farmers and fresh produce markets have been working tirelessly to keep the supply chain strong and to commemorate Mandela Day, RSA Group has donated 67 hampers of fresh produce to the Salvation Army to distribute. The Salvation Army focuses on the relief of poverty and other charitable objects beneficial to society. They assembled a disaster team to provide assistance in feeding the homeless.

Rollout of returnable PET bottles

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa has expanded the rollout of 2L returnable PET bottles to reduce plastic waste, after its successful Eastern Cape pilot last year, to include Northern Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. “The consumer response to the new 2L returnable PET bottles has been overwhelmingly positive. We have seen customers in the Eastern Cape opting to switch over to purchasing the returnable 2L bottles and returning them after consumption. After each bottle reaches the end of its useable lifecycle, it joins a regional manufacturing value chain which ultimately means less pollution in the environment,” said Velaphi Ratshefola, managing director of CCBSA. The returnable PET bottles are identifiable by a new paper label, with ‘RETURNABLE’ appearing in green on the front of the bottle. The roll-out constitutes a significant investment by CCBSA in the new packaging line to ensure that the PET bottles comply with global standards for design, hygiene and safety for PET packaging. Returnable PET is part of The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste vision that aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can that it sells globally by 2030. This focuses on the entire packaging value chain, from how bottles and cans are designed and made, to how they’re collected, recycled and reused later.

The recommended retail price for the 2L Coca-Cola Original Taste – Less Sugar beverage is R15, which excludes a R9 deposit. Other brands, like Coca-Cola No Sugar, Sprite and Fanta, are also be available in the new 2L returnable PET plastic bottle at a recommended retail price of R12 excluding the R9 deposit. This means a saving of around R7 per bottle, depending on where a customer purchases their bottle. According to the PET Recycling Company (PETCO), 62% of PET bottles were collected after use and recycled in South Africa last year. The Coca-Cola system in South Africa currently uses an average of 8% recycled content in its plastic bottles in South Africa – the more bottles that are collected and recycled, the more recycled content the company can use in its bottles.

Customer donations aid COVID-19 relief efforts

Inspired by customer donations in excess of R1.7 million to its in-store Act for Change Fund, the Shoprite Group is making it easier for shoppers to support organisations that are assisting the most vulnerable in local communities. Now when customers donate R5 or more to the Act For Change Fund at the till point in any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave nationally, the funds collected will go to vetted beneficiary organisations involved in COVID-19 relief efforts in the province where the donation was made. Meals on Wheels is the Act For Change Fund’s new beneficiary organisation in Gauteng, where it has provided meals to over 400 000 beneficiaries since the start of the lockdown. Operation Hunger is the recipient of donations to the Act For Change Fund in Mpumalanga and Limpopo; where some 4,000 families have benefited from their Feed a Family campaign, a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act For Change Fund’s other beneficiary organisations include Gift of the Givers (North West, Free State and Northern Cape), SA Red Cross Society (Eastern Cape and Western Cape) and Rise Against Hunger (KwaZulu-Natal).

The Shoprite Group manages the Fund on behalf of its customers and all donations are paid over to the selected beneficiary organisations. There are no administrative costs. In addition to collecting for COVID-19 relief efforts, the Group – in the face of South Africa’s growing hunger crisis – has since the start of the national lockdown served more than 11.3 million meals valued at over R35 million through its surplus food donations and mobile soup kitchens.


Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.

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